Happy St Patrick's day! It's my first one in Ireland, like Patrick, I have come from Britain, unlike Patrick I haven't come as a slave. But like Patrick on his return trip to Ireland, I have come at the call of the risen Lord Jesus, and like Patrick I'm pleased to be here, loving the Irish so much that I have even married one!
Like Patrick, I was a rebellious teenager, and like him, I'm a sinner:
"My name is Patrick. I am a sinner, a simple country person, and the least of all believers." (Confessio 1)
But praise God he rescued Patrick (and he's rescued me!), Patrick wrote:
"The Lord opened up my awareness of my lack of faith. Even though it came about late, I recognised my failings. So I turned with all my heart to the Lord God, and He looked down on my lowliness and had mercy on my youthful ignorance." (Confessio 2).
And because of Patrick's faith in the Lord Jesus' death on his behalf, he became a saint, just like the thief on the cross next to Jesus, he was covered by Jesus' righteousness, his life was hidden in Christ. It's an amazing truth that when God looks on anyone who has put their trust in Jesus he sees them as perfect, as a holy one - a saint if you like.
So was Patrick a saint or a sinner. The short answer is both! Are you?
Last night at Christianity Explored we saw that like Patrick, we are more sinful than we ever realized, but more loved than we ever dreamed. Sinners and Saints.
You can read more about Patrick's life here